The Fault in Our Stars…

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

I love to read a good novel and one of the best I’ve read recently is “The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green.

I’ve been wanting to write a book review  because well,  if you’ve been following along with the blog you need something to read while you’re lounging around on your new throw pillows, right? : )

Seriously though, this book is so beautifully written that I can’t keep quiet about it.  It’s spawned many a website full of quotes and if you read it you’ll see why.

“One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It’s all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can’t go all the way around.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

The story is written in the voice of two teenagers falling in love and at the same time dying of cancer.  Reading that brief synopsis you might ask yourself why I would suggest that you read something so depressing but here’s the thing – it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.  It gives a really accurate portrayal of the way love really is sometimes…fleeting and finite despite how desperately we try to hold onto it.

The author, John Green, is a former children’s hospital chaplain and was encouraged to write this book out of the experiences he had during that time.  It’s received 5 stars from almost every review I’ve seen and it’s well deserved.

A few more quotes to encourage you to read…enjoy!

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
 

“Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

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Inspiring Bedroom Ideas for Spring…

Spring is in the air!  Well, technically here it’s still freezing and raining and half the country is covered in snow…but it’s almost time, right?

Well, even if it’s still chilly outside we can begin transforming our homes on the inside in preparation of warmer weather and longer days…soon we’ll be opening  up the windows and letting in the warm breeze.  Now, that’s a nice thought!

Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily

One of my favorite places to start transitioning into Spring and Summer is the bedroom. I like to think about incorporating colors that evoke a sense of calm and encourage rest…I try to worry less about following the color trends and allow my personal preferences to lead my color choices. 

This season, maybe upgrade to higher thread count sheet set…or consider following one of these links to splurge on some luxorious bedding.

Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily

Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus

Designers Guild

Designers Guild

Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus

Sherwin-Williams…Chip It Like It’s Hot

Lowe's Home Improvement

Lowe’s Home Improvement

So, do you remember when I said yesterday that the Photo Gallery Wall Templates were like the greatest thing ever?

I have been proven wrong…by Sir Sherwin-Williams.

Let me explain.

I found myself looking for some inspirational Spring color pallets to share with you today and ended up on the Lowe’s Home Improvement site where the picture above was being displayed.  Beautiful, right?  Apricot and purple are huge this coming Spring season so I headed over to Sherwin-Williams online to see if they had some similar paint colors available.  And that’s where I found it.

http://letschipit.com via Sherwin-Williams allows you to upload a picture that contains all of the colors you want represented in your home and, wait for it……

Lowe's / Sherwin-Williams

Lowe’s / Sherwin-Williams

Shut up.

Did other people know about this?

Can we do it again?

Sure!

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens / Sherwin- Williams

Better Homes & Gardens / Sherwin- Williams

Painting your walls is one of the easiest, and cheapest ways to update your home and can become the starting off point to build the rest of your room around.  If you prefer white or neutral walls, use this Chip It tool to pair colors for your drapes or curtains, throw pillows, decorative pieces and picture frames for a designer finish to every room in your home.

Try it…but I’ll warn you ahead of time…you could get stuck doing this all night! 🙂

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

Toby Fairley

Toby Fairley

JWS- Interiors

JWS- Interiors

Better Home & Gardens

Better Home & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

100 Ways to Create a Photo Gallery Wall…Literally

s.a.s. interiors

s.a.s. interiors

If you’ve ever considered creating a Photo Gallery Wall you must follow the link above…the best templates I’ve ever seen for getting this look right!  In fact, after trying this myself several times a bit unsuccessfully I’m almost inspired to print this out and grab the hammer (at 10:16 PM with two sleeping children that might not be the best idea).  But really, it’s that good!

So, what you’ll find are a series of templates for arranging your photos up a staircase, over a bed, over a crib, beside a table, in a hallway…you get the point.  Incredible and endlessly useful.

Photo Galleries are the answer to the big empty spaces looming over your lonely household furniture items.  So many times I (and maybe you) have gone out looking for one big piece of art just to fill a space rather than exploring this option because as easy as it looks…it’s really not.  It’s well worth the work though because instead of ending up with a meaningless framed picture of a prairie you can display a collague of family photos, pets, vacation pics…even small mirrors and large letters and numbers (which is very trendy now).

Try this and what you’ll end up with is a wall that’s visually interesting and incredibly personal to you.  It will help turn your house into a home!

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Design FormuLA

Design FormuLA

The Design File

The Design File

The Bungalow Boutique

The Bungalow Boutique

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Style Court

Style Court

Throw Pillows…Incorporating Color and Pattern

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Better Homes & Gardens

Throw Pillows should be your best friend when it comes to changing up the decor of your living room or bedroom.  Why?  Because they’re easily interchangeable and can instantly update the look of your room for little cost. If you have a light-colored bedspread or can invest in a white cover for your couch you have even more versatility; use the pillows to bring color into your space while maintaining the clean, streamlined look of a white or neutral base.

When you’re looking for pillows remember to keep things interesting by pairing different styles or patterns together…but make sure they share the same color scheme! Mixing colors and patterns can be overwhelming.

Here’s a little pillow inspiration…

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West Elm

I LOVE these!  They incorporate all the pattern and color you can imagine, although for sure you would need a white or light neutral background to show these pillows off.  For a cost of $23 they wont break the bank and can finish off a shabby chic room nicely.

 

 

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Cathycustompillows / Esty

Currently one of the most popular fabric patterns, Chevron is showing up all over the place.  It’s a great choice for a modern look but make sure to shop around for the best price.  A custom version like this will cost you $74.95 while websites like Overstock have them for around $28.

 

 

colorthrowpillows11

Mr. Kate

Don’t you love creative people?  Check out mrkate.com … beautiful pillows and inspiring design.  These pillows have so much personality you could build a room around them! Love it.

Personally, I love mixing patterns but there’s also something to be said for rich fabrics and matching design…beautiful.

 

 

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Apartment Therapy

Don’t feel like switching out your pillows…why not embellish them?  I see these crochet flowers all the time in little boutiques…pick a few up and safety-pin them to your pillows for texture and fun.  Great Idea.

Aromatherapy…6 Things you Didn’t Know Your Candles Could Do

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West Elm

Candles can instantly change the mood in your home from cool and dark to warm and inviting…but did you also know that burning certain scents can change your mood, as well?  Try keeping a few different varieties around your home for ambiance and aromatherapy.

Candle-Vanilla-Cinnamon-Aromas-485x728

Wallpapers HD

Vanilla:  Comfort and relaxation.

Great companion to a warm blanket and good book, this scent is perfect for winding down at the end of the work day.

 

 

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Source Unknown

Lavender:  Stress and Anxiety Relief.

This scent is perfect for bedtime.  Try getting this in tea light form and setting a small votive on your bedside table.  Light it a few hours before you turn in and let the stress melt away while you fall asleep.

 

 

AW MAIN IMAGE

Designers Guild

Jasmine:  Sensuality.

Light this on his side of the bed : )

 

 

diy-driftwood-candle-holder-1

Shelterness

Sandalwood:  Assists in Meditation.

Get the most out of your yoga session at home or light this during your morning devotionals.  Breath deep and let your mind and body relax.

 

 

https://i2.wp.com/www.shamrockaffiliations.ws/images/citrus_candle_centerpiece_LRG.JPG

Shamrock Candles

Citrus:  Mood Elevator.

Try placing these around your home during a dinner party or book club meeting to encourage conversation and lighten the atmosphere.

 

 

IMG_3326

The Yellow Cape Cod

Coffee:  Awakens the Senses.

Perfect for the morning; keep a hurricane in your bathroom filled with coffee beans and light your candle as you’re getting into the shower.

 

 

Leave a comment and let me know if these scents worked for you!

5 Ways To Show Your Kitchen Some Love…

kwhitethisoldhouse31white-kitchen

Better Homes & Gardens

#1.  COOK

There’s a certain sense of pride that comes along with serving your family a meal and utilizing that stainless steel jungle looming in the center of your home.  You can’t truly love something you don’t fully understand, right?  That might be a little deep when referring to the difference between the High and Low settings on your oven’s broiler but there’s some truth there…right?  Reclaim your kitchen and get in there!  If you’re feeling really ambitious break out the recipe book or turn on a cooking channel for some inspiration.  I happened upon this recipe one Saturday morning when I bought myself an extra hour of peace and quiet by pretending I was still asleep (my husband…the wonderful man, made the kids breakfast).

‘Chickpea and Tomato Penne Pasta.’ It’s healthy, tastes amazing,  involves the use of fresh herbs (which is always exciting) and can be modified by adding some chicken or an extra dash of crushed red pepper. Super cheap to make and so filling! Get inspired…try it out!

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#2.  GET ORGANIZED

How many times have you stopped at the store on the way home from work for a jar of spaghetti sauce only to find one hidden in the back of your pantry when you get home? Get organized…disorganization leads to stress, stress leads to avoidance and avoidance leads to Chinese take-out.  Fall back in love with your kitchen…find out what you’ve got hiding in there and fill it with things you love!  Donate what you’re not using and throw out empty boxes and out-of-dates.  One of the best ways to get organized and stay that way is to make labels…

Though you may think labeling things is “anal,” labeling is an effective means of communication. “Labeling gives items an official place in the home,” says Marrero. “When you are sharing a space, it’s important for everyone to know where things belong.” Even better, labels not only teach your kids to pick up after themselves, they can help with their reading skills, too.

 Michele Borboa, MS/via Health & Wellness

photo(22)  Builder Concept Home 2011

GettyImages                                                                      KB Home

#3.  REDECORATE

Pretty things are more enjoyable to be around…no expert advice needed there.  Undertake a DIY backsplash…maybe hit up IKEA for some cute cutlery holders or a new vase…and buy some cheap flowers to put in it (real ones girls)!  Remove the door from one of your cabinets or replace one with a glass panel and show off some of your favorite kitchen things!  Who wouldn’t love that!

Walking into the same kitchen day in and day out makes this important room in your house easy to ignore.  Just like you would change the bedspreads in your bedroom or the throw pillows on your couch…update your kitchen in small ways to make it feel fresh and inviting!

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HGTV, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Kitchen Building

#4. SET YOUR TABLE…AND EAT THERE!

So, this has been the hardest one for me but it’s been my most favorite part of the kitchen/dining room to show some extra love to…and has produced the best results!  It’s your table;  the place where you share food and indulge in conversation with the most important people in your life…your family!  One of my favorite things about the holidays is sitting around a beautifully decorated table with the people closest to me, laughing…enjoying good company and good food…it’s literally feeding your soul as well as your body!  Why not try an incorporate that feeling  into everyday life?  That doesn’t mean you need to pull out the fine linens and China but a new tablecloth…a brightly colored bowl and some chunky candlesticks?  Make your table inviting…

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Pottery Barn

bhg-dining-roomFruit-Flavors-BHG1-e1332285505716

Better Homes & Gardens

#5.  CREATE A SPACE

If you have a home office, many times that space has been claimed by the man of the house.  Why not take advantage of the kitchen…it’s close to the coffee pot (and the refrigerator) and often has enough unused space to accommodate a small desk.  Don’t want to clutter the open area adding additional furniture?  Try pushing the desk against an unused section of the wall and borrow a chair from your kitchen dining set when needed.  If you have an extra small kitchen like I do, try converting a cabinet into an elevated home office.  The shelves keep everything organized…slide your laptop inside and when you’re ready to sit down and pay some bills, pull up a bar stool and utilize the counter space.  This is a great idea for apartment living!

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MSN, The Decorologist, Kitchen and Residential Design, Better Homes & Gardens

I hope this post has inspired you to show your kitchen some love…take some time to reclaim that space in your home and enjoy it!